Vanilla Sweet Grass, Hierochloe odorata

Vanilla Sweet Grass

Hierochloe odorata

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late spring/Early Summer
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium, Moist, Wet
Color: Green
Fragrance: Yes
Height: 2 feet
Spacing: 1-2 feet

Description
Vanilla Sweet Grass, Hierochloe odorata, is an aromatic, cool-season perennial growing 10-24 inches in height and spreading about 2 feet per year by underground rhizomes. Because of its aggressive, rhizomatous nature it can be difficult to eliminate if it has spread to areas where it is not wanted. Pick a planting site with this in mind. Despite this vigor once established, Sweet Grass can be difficult to grow from seed, so we recommend trying a few plants and dividing them after a few years.

Its natural habitat is wetlands, prairies, and savannas in wet to medium moisture soils. Though Sweet Grass prefers rich, moist soils, it will grow in almost any soil that receives a minimum of a half day of sun. Sandy, well-drained sites will require mulch and watering during times of low rainfall. Add compost to sand or clay soils. The preferred pH range is 6 to 8.
Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Many North American indigenous cultures burned Sweet Grass in ceremonies to invite the presence of good spirits.
Further Information

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